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Wanted (Single-Disc Widescreen Edition) (2008)

A movie directed by Timur Bekmambetov

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All about the expectations

  • Aug 13, 2008
  • by
Rating:
-5
I loved the first Matrix, and I went into Wanted with the idea that it would be like the Matrix, but maybe even better because it had Angelina Jolie.   I should have expected much, much less -- I haven't been this disappointed in a movie for months.  Wanted seems like a series of admittedly cool action sequences, with an excuse for a plot thrown in to connect them together.   Just a brief warning -- there are some spoilers below, but nothing significant.
To enjoy a movie like the Matrix, you have to be into the hero's journey from pathetic corporate drone to, basically, a superhero.  I just couldn't seem to get in James McAvoy's transformation into hero -- unlike Neo in the Matrix, James McAvoy's character seemed to be living in an almost self inflicted misery.  Unfortunately, that wasn't the worst part of a movie which features (as major parts of the plot) a mystical loom which determines who lives and who dies, and exploding rats.  Yes, exploding rats.
If you buy the premise that Wanted started off as a series of conceptualized action sequences, with a plot thrown in later, the whole movie starts making much more sense.  They throw in some greek mythology in the form of the Fates, add a bit of the superhero's journey from the Matrix, and top it off with a bit of dueling assassins courtesy of every movie about assassins that has ever been made.  I actually wish they had tossed in a bit of Minority Report to add some seasoning.  The movie could have raised and considered an interesting philosophical dilemma similar to the one faced in Minority Report -- is it acceptable to assassinate/imprison someone if you know they are fated to do great damage to the world, even if they haven't yet hurt anyone?  Instead, this core question (at least if you are dealing with a cult of assassins) is pretty much ignored, as is every other interesting idea that the premise (supernaturally talented assassin cult at war with itself) suggests.

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March 30, 2009
Maybe it wasn't their week to steal Phil Dick plotlines.
 
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More Wanted (2008) reviews
Quick Tip by . May 25, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
It has some cool action sequences, and Angelina Jolie is in it. Those are the two redeeming factors which keep it from the bottom of the pile. Otherwise, this movie tries to get you to believe that being a great assassin is a wonderful opportunity, depends a lot on those inane bullet-time shots which bad action directors have been relying on since The Matrix, and worst of all, tries to give us a pretentious plot contemplating the ideas of free choice and fate. That last one meant the director clearly …
review by . July 22, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
   This movie was recommended to my by a co-worker, and I watched with with apprehension. I normally do not like these types of movies, but gave it a chance. I'm glad I did! Not expecting much, I was surprised by the effects, the plot, and the acting. The plot is obviously based on a comic book which I had never read.  The characters are very interesting, with the main character being a novice trying to learn the ways of the assassins. While each character has a background, we …
review by . December 21, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Wanted movie poster
WANTED is loosely based on the comic mini-series by Mark Millar and J.G. Jones which has been published by Top Cow productions. The movie is directed by Timur Bekmambetov, the filmmaker who gave us the 2 part Russian mystical action series: "Nightwatch" and "Daywatch". I wasn't a fan of those two films so I went in without any expectations. Surprise! This director seemed to have honed his skills; armed with a larger budget, a great cast and a comic series that has a cult …
review by . September 01, 2009
   Watching this film, I kept thinking of it as a high tech Kill Bill.  Wesly Gibson, is a nerdy accountant who loves Googling his name to see if there are any hits and who is harrassed at work by an abusive woman who love to snap a stapler at work  He is drawn into a plan to kill a world class assassin.        At the beginning we see a top assassin being set on by a bunch of would be assassins.  He takes them all out but seemingly super powers only …
review by . April 07, 2009
Angelina Jolie in Wanted
Wanted is a Matrix rip-off without a decent plot or any redeeming qualities other than high octane action, great special effects, and Angelina Jolie.  If that's what you are looking for, this is for you.  The plot – a wimpy nerd finds out his father was an assassin with special powers is whisked away by the fraternity of assassins his father belonged to, and trained to be an assassin himself.  And eventually go after the guy that killed his dad. Basically this is just a thin plot …
review by . March 26, 2009
Come on now really? Don't get me wrong, this film was very good for what it was but a lot of it served absolutely no purpose than to give the action junkie in all of us a quick thrill. Given the cast at the helm, you would be forgiven for believing that this film could be a bit more than a shallow attempt at a dramatic but action packed film. Seriously, the fact that Morgan Freeman was involved should have given this film a 5 star rating from the get-go but even he couldn't save this shallow travesty. …
review by . April 14, 2009
The online and TV trailers for this movie promised a gun-toting, kick-ass action flick with some skin of Angelina Jolie. And the movie delivers. The premise of the movie is simple; there is an organization of assassins called "The Fraternity". Induction is by personal selection and the ensuing grueling training process. Somewhere along the way, the leader of this Fraternity, played by Morgan Freeman, gives into greed and uses the talents of his organization to kill for hire. One of his subordinates, …
review by . April 07, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Wanted is a Matrix rip-off without a decent plot or any redeeming qualities other than high octane action, great special effects, and Angelina Jolie. If that's what you are looking for, this is for you.     The plot - a wimpy nerd finds out his father was an assassin with special powers is whisked away by the fraternity of assassins his father belonged to, and trained to be an assassin himself. And eventually go after the guy that killed his dad.    Basically …
review by . March 26, 2009
Come on now really? Don't get me wrong, this film was very good for what it was but a lot of it served absolutely no purpose than to give the action junkie in all of us a quick thrill. Given the cast at the helm, you would be forgiven for believing that this film could be a bit more than a shallow attempt at a dramatic but action packed film. Seriously, the fact that Morgan Freeman was involved should have given this film a 5 star rating from the get-go but even he couldn't save this shallow travesty. …
review by . February 10, 2009
Wanted is a fun an entertaining movie. It is full of action, excellent fight scenes and overall great pace. The movie is about an average guy, or so he thinks, who is recruited into a legendary secret fraternity of assassins. The performances by all the actors were superb and the story played itself well. I just wish that the story would have delved a bit more into the background of the fraternity. I also wished that Wesley's training (James McAvoy) would have taken a bit longer (and thus more believable …
About the reviewer
Ari Miller ()
Ranked #109
I mostly write about my main obsession, tennis. When I'm not experimenting with new tennis racquets, I love to watch a good movie or read a great book. I'm a fan of both non-fiction (especially books … more
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Wiki

As the impresario behind gravity-defying Russian blockbusterNight Watch, it's inevitable that Hollywood would come calling for Timur Bekmambetov. With a studio budget and an international cast, including two Oscar winners, Timur cooks up a Hong Kong-styled actioner bursting with fast cars and big guns. Our unlikely hero is mild-mannered Chicago accountant Wesley Gibson (Atonement'sJames McAvoy), whose father died when he was a tot. Wesley never learned to stand up for himself, and his girlfriend, boss, and best buddy all take advantage until the seductive Fox (Angelina Jolie) rescues him from a sharpshooter named Cross (The Pianist’sThomas Kretschmann). After which, she whisks him away to a mansion on the edge of town to meet the other members of the Fraternity, where leader Sloan (Morgan Freeman) informs Wesley that Cross, a rogue agent, executed his father. Sloan believes Wesley has the goods to take him out, so he undergoes the Fraternity's brutal training regimen (Marc Warren and Common dish up some of the abuse). When he's ready, Sloan sends him out to fulfill his duty, but matters become complicated when Wesley finds out someone isn't telling the truth, leading our former milquetoast to exact an elaborate revenge. For those who've been following McAvoy's career to date, Wanted will surely come as a surprise. In adapting Mark Millar's comic series, Timur offers buckets of blood and a smidgen of depth, but fans ofThe MatrixandMr. and ...
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Details

Director: Timur Bekmambetov
DVD Release Date: December 2, 2008
Runtime: 110 minutes
Studio: Universal Studios
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